With the draft fast approaching, no one outside of the organization really knows what the Los Angeles Dodgers’ plans are in the early rounds. An innovative front office and five of the first 101 picks provides the organization with some room for creativity.
I’ve identified three types of players the Dodgers could target with their early picks, so let’s take a look at the prospects.
The Injured Pitcher
Three of the better pitching prospects in the draft suffered injuries this spring that have caused their stock to drop from the top-10 to borderline first rounder. Brady Aiken, last year’s first overall pick, and Michael Matuella, a fast-rising junior from Duke, each underwent Tommy John surgery this spring.
Kolby Allard, last year’s Perfect Game All American Classic MVP, suffered a stress reaction in his back that took him off the mound in March. Taking one of these players would likely cost the Dodgers more than their slot amount, meaning the club would have to find savings with other picks.
Aiken turned down $5 million last summer, so I don’t imagine he’d be a bargain even in the first round. Matuella, a 1.1 candidate coming into the spring, would also likely require more than the $2,094,400 the Dodgers are given for the 24th selection. Allard would likely be the cheapest of the trio, though he could command an overslot bonus to buy him out of his UCLA commitment.
This strategy would involve the most risk and the most money, but could bare the most reward in the long term. Getting a potential ace is a gamble the Dodgers can take, even with the red flags associated with these players. This approach is the expectation of many draft prognosticators predict and I’m in agreement.
CONTINUE READING: Other Options The Dodgers May Consider